Advice for Newly Minted Lawyers

*Updated to add some great advice posted by readers on social media – see below. 

Photo of a shelf of law books
As we enter October, some states have already released the results of the July bar exam, and other states will post their results soon.  I thought this would be a good time offer some advice to this year’s class of new lawyers as they embark on their careers.  I spent my first two years after law school working at a fairly large law firm, and the following tips might be less applicable to those working in other settings (i.e., in-house legal departments, government agencies, etc.), but I think most of these points apply across the board.  Lawyers, please add your own advice in the comments below.  

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Snapshot: September 28, 2017

Photo of the author

In this occasional series, I share what I’ve been reading, watching, thinking, and doing.

What I’m Reading:

What I’m Watching:  The Good Place

What I’m Listening To:  The Gen Why Lawyer Podcast, “Taking 100% Responsibility for Your Happiness with Okeoma Moronu”

Current Guilty Pleasure:  Long naps (although truthfully, I don’t really feel that guilty about them!)

Where I’ve Been Recently:  Athens and Santorini (in June and July)

What I’m Looking Forward To:  The arrival of baby D!

Latest Personal Project:  Cooking more and trying new recipes with the help of PlateJoy

Recent Moment of Joy:  Feeling another being moving around in my belly.  It’s pretty amazing!

Currently Inspired By:  Several smart, driven, all-around-impressive women lawyers I’ve met recently through the Tennessee Lawyers’ Association for Women.

Grateful For:  The many kind and understanding people in my life who have graciously listened to me complain about the less fun aspects of my pregnancy, and who have cut me some slack while I don’t feel like my usual self.  Thank you!

Cheers,

Alexis

Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Quote of the Week

“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.”

-Lao Tzu.

Keychain available from BardandSmithStudio on Etsy.

The Complete Works of Lao Tzu.

Hay bales lining a dirt road
Hay Bales, Polaroid transfer print, 2004.

Disclosure: I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Feeding Ourselves: Thoughts on Cooking and Convenience

Drawing of a bowl a fruit and a pear and orange on a table

I came across this article yesterday that reported the findings of a study showing that “[o]nly 10% of consumers now love to cook, while 45% hate it and 45% are lukewarm about it.”  The 10% number surprised me, as many people in my social circle cook most of their meals and seem to enjoy making their own food.  I’ll admit that I tend to fall into the lukewarm category, though it’s more accurate to say that my desire to cook ebbs and flows.

I know that cooking my own meals is generally healthier and more cost-effective than eating at restaurants.  Cooking can be a lot more satisfying, too.  I don’t live in a big city with an endless number of restaurants, and sometimes I’m just not that excited about my options for eating out.  On occasions when I want a specific dish, my chances of satisfying the craving are sometimes better if I make the dish myself rather than trying to find the precise offering at a local restaurant.  I also imagine that for families with kids and hectic schedules, eating at home is probably easier than going to a restaurant.

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Rethinking Regret

Black and white profile photo of the author sitting on a porch in Kauai
Photo by Emilios

This week, Hidden Brain, one of my favorite podcasts-slash-public-radio-programs, explored the topic of regret with a researcher and head of an academic “regret lab.”  The program discussed the various positive and negative consequences of regret.

I think I’ve reached a point in my life when I’m able to put most of my regrets to rest.  Yes, there are opportunities I missed, chances I wish I’d taken, different paths I could have chosen, and times I acted selfishly or treated others poorly.  The last category is, of course, the hardest to get over, because it’s regret combined with guilt.  But we can’t undo what we’ve done in the past, and at some point we have to forgive ourselves and commit to behaving better in the future, now that we know better.

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Guest Post: My Journey Towards Minimalism

Today’s post was written by Courtney Miller. Courtney is a Financial Analyst from South Central Pennsylvania. In her free time, she is the Vice President of Internal Affairs for a local nonprofit, Animal Advocates of South Central PA. She also likes to travel and eat too much food. Thanks for sharing your story and tips with us, Courtney!

Decluttering, KonMari Method, tiny homes, capsule wardrobes… These terms have been trending lately, and with good reason. Actually, many good reasons. How often have you misplaced something and spent more time searching for it than you’d like to admit? Maybe you’ve looked “everywhere” and couldn’t find it. It got lost somewhere among your stuff. How much time have you spent organizing, dusting, and cleaning your stuff? Or bought something and had to “make room” for it?

How much stuff in our lives is necessary? How much of it do we actually use? Do you ever ask yourself, “Why do I even have this thing?” You’re not alone.

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Ask Alexis: Cruelty Free Personal Care and Cosmetics

Various cosmetic products arranged on a countertop

Reader L sent this question:

You wrote a while ago about switching to cosmetics that aren’t tested on animals. I’d like to make that switch, but I’m not sure where to start. It seems overwhelming to research all the beauty products on the market. What products do you use?

In case you missed it, I believe L is referring to this post.  I’m a little hesitant to post a full list of the products I use for fear of seeming high-maintenance (don’t judge!), but I did do a good bit of research on this topic, and I’m happy to share that research if it will help you make the switch to cruelty free products.  European readers don’t need to worry about this, as animal testing for cosmetic purposes is banned in the European Union.

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